October 4th, 2016

reading

New books for October

I read these books courtesy of NetGalley. I’ll start with the best one.
Today Will be Different, Maria Semple



More about the wacky world of middle class Seattle from the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, which I enjoyed. Today Will be Different is a breathless gallop through one day in the life of Eleanor Flood: former graphic artist, surgeon’s wife, older mother. ‘Today I will be my best self, the person I’m capable of being. Today will be different.’ If this day of misadventures is typical, you wonder how she keeps going.

This book is just packed with action and very funny. Eleanor has lived in Seattle for ten years but hasn’t really adjusted. ‘Living too long in New York does that to a girl, gives her the false sense that the world is full of interesting people.’ She loves her husband but lists his faults, one of which is reading in bed and not switching out the light. ‘When he finally does, he’ll sometimes rest his book on me. And these aren’t slim volumes of poetry. They’re Winston Churchill biographies, and Winston Churchill lived a very full life.’ Her son Timby is a worry, with his love of wearing make up and sudden dislike of school. This is absolutely not a linear narrative; the action jumps around apparently randomly, through Eleanor’s consciousness. In this way Maria Semple brilliantly manages to tell a whole life story in a day: from difficult childhood through career and marriage and ongoing attempts to cope with her troubled relationship with the sister whose very existence she now denies.

A tour de force of writing, which I loved.

Published 13th October
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